Interesting, isn't it, how sometimes women just seem to disappear?
In the news today was the revelation that Amazons really did exist. This information was announced by a team of archaeologists. Before their discovery, the existence of strong, determined and self-sufficient women was said to be a myth. Watch for updates on the Amazons as more and more women are involved in (and leading) archaeological expeditions.
Recently, the operetta, "Evita," brought her to the attention of the media and we learn that her body has been moved several times and finally is supposed to be safely disposed of where it cannot be found. The reason for this, we are told, is that although there are people who venerate her and want to make a shrine of her burial place, there are more powerful people who want her to be erased, completely wiped out of the history books. They want to destroy her body and every trace of her.
There has been some evidence of an Egyptian Pharaoh, named Hatshepsut (or Hatchepsut), who was a woman. Again, recent archaeological excavations have proven her existence and shown that she certainly ruled and did many things worthy of recognition and which should have been recorded in history. It was thought that her nephew, who ascended the throne after her death, ordered the systematic destruction of her face on all of the statues raised to honor her.
However, recent evidence indicates that this destruction took place more than 20 years after her death and that it was most certainly done to eradicate any record that a woman had been Pharaoh! It involved not only the desecration of her face on walls and statues but also other artifacts of her existence were removed and buried. All this to prevent a woman's name from appearing in the Egyptian book of Kings.
We don't have to go way back in history to find the systematic erasure of women's abilities. One of our readers sent us the following information:
The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra has long had a policy of prohibiting women from being members. They claimed that "... our superior sound was due to its all male membership, so if we had to take women, this unique sound would be ruined; having women in the orchestra would distract the men; women would take too much leave to have babies and care for sick children making it necessary for V.P.O. to hire extra people to cover for the absent women; social-political goals are not compatible with artistic goals, and orchestras should be exempt from the demands of militant feminists; and female musicians are often late to rehearsals."
Fact is that a woman harpist, Anna Lelkes has been playing in V.P.O. for 20 years. She was given no official status or benefits EVEN THOUGH they could never find a male with her ability.
One might not only question the validity of their "superior sound" claim but also why they hid her contribution.
Remember the statue of three of our activist foremothers that was buried in the sub-basement of the Capital Building? It's taken the efforts of many women, but we are told that finally, after nearly a century, it is in the Rotunda. The house majority leader, of giraffe and piglet fame, hopes to gain the women's vote in the next election by allowing the move -- a move that has several pundits, especially George Will, raving hysterically.
And . . . never, never forget how women's voices and opinions were and are being buried at Congressional hearings on medically-necessary late-term abortions. Our culture has literally been burying women for ages as they died in childbirth and its many complications. The Congressional hearings figuratively demonstrated how our culture buries us -- but it is nonetheless very real.
Copyright 1997 Renee T. Louise and Ruth M. Sprague, Ph.D. These articles may be republished for noncommercial use only, provided that they are copied intact, and that this copyright notice is attached. Address all queries to: TWANDA@ConnRiver.net.
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